As a busy business owner, key employee, executive and entrepreneur, it’s hard to listen to others; particularly, when they are not saying what you want to hear! However, there is a significant cost to not listening and paying attention. The cost is, loss of top talent, quality, customers and respect. It will hurt your company’s ability to be financially successful. It will be detrimental to your own career!
Failure to Listen is Costly
Losing Top Talent. Today’s top talent simply does not have the same loyalty as three years ago! If you’re not willing to allow them to rock the boat and listen to their ideas, they will leave and go work for someone who will! Allow some boat rocking by picking their brains and ensuring an open exchange of ideas. Use persuasive listening techniques and de-escalate conflict (Reference http://wp.me/p2POui-10S) to encourage top level and productive conversations.
Mediocre Quality. A revolving door of top talent and customers usually means mediocre quality — it is also the culprit for product returns and poor PR on social media sites. This can be rectified by listening to others as valued sources of information, since they will usually have the answers if asked! Brainstorm and encourage everyone’s thoughts and opinions without latching on to what appears to be the first great solution. Put all recommendations on a chart that everyone can see at all times. Sometimes the best ideas or off-the-wall comments come at the end and provide the answers. Listen and build on concepts as though your business success depends on it – because it does!
Miscommunication. If you’re not talking straight, clients, employees, boards and bosses will not trust you and stop listening. Take responsibility for failures and miscommunications. Don’t be afraid to listen to the “why” (e.g., why: it doesn’t work, isn’t appropriate, doesn’t meet our needs, etc.). Stay up-to-date with industry changes, policies, and branding. This will help you avoid misunderstandings! Also, when dealing with upsets, don’t hide behind technical terms (aka jargon and buzzwords), spew frustrations or blame others – it only creates more mischief and further miscommunication!
Failure to Learn. If you’re not listening, you’re not learning. And mistakes will happen. It’s what you do when they happen that will either create a positive or negative outcome on your bottom line. Blaming yourself or others will not solve the problems and is costly. Instead, review “What worked?” and “What Didn’t Work?”(Reference http://ow.ly/IRDx30522ih). By objectively focusing on the facts you will eliminates the emotional roller-coast, and provide clarity of new opportunities that were previously overlooked. Start with no more than two areas to concentrate on. Review with your business advisor or mentor to ensure you’re on-target. Only then, you’re ready for focused action. Stay away from the Bright Shiny Object syndrome – it only serves to distract you and your team from achieving intended results.
Remember, positive acknowledgement of your team members begins when you listen to them as valued sources of information!
©Jeannette Seibly, 2016
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Jeannette Seibly has been a business advisor and executive coach for 24 years; along the way she’s guided the creation of three millionaires. She is laser sharp at identifying the leverage points that will take a business and its team to the next level of performance and success. Check out her website, http://SeibCo.com, or contact Jeannette for a free, confidential conversation at http://SeibCo.com/contact. Don’t forget to get your copy of her newest book, It’s Time to Brag! Business Edition: http://ow.ly/GLf6304Zohu